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Question about Heart Palpitations Question about Heart Palpitations

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Unread 12-24-2003, 12:28 PM
Question about Heart Palpitations

Okay, ladies who have palpitations. I have a question that I've never been able to get a satisfactory answer to from my doctors.

What do they feel like?

I've often heard people say that their palpitations feel like the heart is racing or that the heart rate is really fast, but that isn't what mine feel like at all.

Mine feel like my heart is doing backflips, or beating really erratically. Sometimes they're so strong that they take my breath away and I've noticed I get kind of weak after I've had a few. I've also noticed a sugar connection with mine, if I eat a lot of sugar or sweets, I have more palpitations. Anyone else notice this?

I've gone to a cardiologist about them, he was very unconcerned. I am taking a beta blocker for my B/P which is supposed to stop them, but I do still have them occassionally. I know there's supposed to be an estrogen or hormonal link, but my doctor's never mentioned this either.

Thanks and s,

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Unread 12-24-2003, 05:54 PM
Question about Heart Palpitations

Hi Shashi,
My heart palps sound just like yours and the sugar link is something I have connected to them especially this week! Oh the fudge and cheesecake and Christmas cookies that are in my house and calling to me as I type this!!!

I have HBP too and for sure the drop in estrogen affects the palps and my HBP starts to climb!

I am also one of the Migraine Gals so I think it all is just a very complex thing to balance right now.
There is a link about a list describing the symptoms of "Too Much Estrogen, Too Little"....I printed it off and keep it by my computer to remind me.
My palpatations feel like little surging bubbles popping around and near my heart and it is a scary feeling! That is the best way that I can describe it!
My new GP is aware of it and we might do a cardio work up after the holidays but for now I feel that changing my patch a half a day sooner is helping. I am also under stress from simple family living at the holidays! I put the prime rib in the freezer to wait out the beef scare...I know there is nothing wrong with that meat but I live in the state of Washington and that is all everyone is talking about right now and I don't want to stress about that on Christmas!
Best Wishes to you!
Unread 12-24-2003, 08:25 PM
Question about Heart Palpitations

I just wanted to let you know that I have palpitations as well....but mine are due to MVP (Mitral Valve Prolapse). Basically what that is, is the mitral valve in my heart does not close properly, so the blood "regurgitates" back into my heart and causes a palp. About the best way for me to describe how it feels, is it's almost like my heart stops momentarily, and then all of a sudden it will beat, but it feels very odd. My heart will race every now and again, especially if I'm under a lot of stress or have had caffeine. And yes, sometimes they do make me feel weak and just plain weird. I am on a medication to slow my heartbeat down, and that seems to help some. I'm not sure about the estrogen levels though, but I will be asking my doctor in my pre-op appointment about hormones post op. Anyway, I didn't know if this would help as far as describing them, but I hope it does. Let me know if I can help. Merry Christmas!
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Unread 12-26-2003, 04:47 PM
Question about Heart Palpitations

The easiest way to describe "palpitations" is that they are early beats. Since the heart hasn't had time to fill properly, there's usually a bit of a pause after the early beat. The heart then fills a bit extra, and that next beat is felt as a stronger beat, or palpitation. These can originate from the upper chambers of the heart (premature atrial contractions), which are usually benign; or from the lower chambers of the heart (premature ventricular contractions, or PVCs) which are benign IF they disappear with exercise but should be investigated.

I do find that my blood sugar levels are very closely related; if I eat a large meal after fasting for some time, my blood sugar rises, but then my insulin level rises even higher, over-producing, and within half an hour or so, the blood sugar "crashes" and I start to feel like dogmeat -- complete with extra beats. I am sensitive to caffeine as well, so I've pretty much eliminated that from the diet.

I take digoxin for mine; they started to get bothersome enough that they required treatment, and the usual first-line treatment of atenolol or other beta-blocker isn't appropriate for someone like me with significant lung disease. However, a workup is in order, if they're bothering you -- which should include a 24 hour holter monitor or a two-week event recorder, echocardiogram, and possibly stress echocardiogram. Lisa, did the cardiologist you went to do any of these exams? If you get them only occasionally, then they're likely to be pretty benign. But since they appear to be bothering you, in spite of your beta blocker for the hypertension, then it's time to work them up so you can begin the appropriate treatment. I've always had them; I get PACs but I get them in "runs" which is more like supraventricular tachycardia (common also with mitral valve prolapse -- but that's another post ). It was fine when I only got one or two runs a day -- but when they went up to one or two episodes an hour, and were making me dizzy, that's when I went ahead and began to treat them with the digoxin. They've not been eliminated completely, but they're a whole lot better!

Hope this helps. Happy holidays!

Unread 12-26-2003, 06:51 PM
Question about Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations feel like a momentary flutter, or like your heart "skipped" a beat. Sometimes there will be a slight little involuntary cough that goes along with it, called a "heart cough". They can be a scary feeling, but there are many causes and most aren't serious. I'll get them occasionally with too much caffeine, or certain decongestants. It's good that you've consulted with a cardiologist.
Unread 12-26-2003, 07:17 PM
Question about Heart Palpitations

My heart palpitations feel exactly like the backflip sensation you described. Hormones (estrogen?) seem to be the link for me. At least that's what I thought because they got a lot better after I started bc pills at age 43 and then HRT for menopause. I was always trying to get pregnant before that, so never took bc pills or anything. By my late 30s, the palps were becoming a real concern to me. My at-the-time family doctor wasn't worried, and he also said it had nothing to do with my heart murmur.

Right now I'm on estrogen only and almost never have palpitations. I had some last week and they surprised me because I've gone so long without them.

The sugar connection is fascinating and I'm going to pay closer attention to what I'm eating. I am eating a lot less sugar now than I was pre-op, when I was on a perpetual sugar fest to relieve stress. Wish I could remember if I'd had a lot of sugary stuff around the time I had those palps last week.

Good luck to you. I know how palpitations can make you feel worried.

Unread 12-26-2003, 10:20 PM
Question about Heart Palpitations

I, too, get them. Not as much now as I did earlier in my recovery (3 mos. post-op now). I read it was caused by {lack of} estrogen. I choose not to do HRT, so I'm not using anything other than the vaginal Premarin cream. They're not as frequent now as they were a month or so ago. They don't hurt, they're just weird--like a heavy flutter. I don't suppose it's cause for alarm because I still wake up in the morning (thank you Jesus!)
Unread 12-26-2003, 10:24 PM
Question about Heart Palpitations

So I have a question then. My surgery is scheduled for 2/18. From what I hear, lack of Estrogen triggers these palpitation episodes. Do I need to talk to my doctor about this? What do I need to ask? I'd sure like to know, because I don't want anything triggering the palps...I finally have them somewhat under control, and I don't like how they make me feel when I get an attack. Thanks ladies. s
Unread 12-27-2003, 12:05 PM
yes, ask the doctor

Definitely talk to your doctor about all of this. I think everybody's situation is probably a bit different and your MVP may mean you need a specific type of medication or dose and only your doctor knows that.
Unread 12-29-2003, 07:18 AM
Question about Heart Palpitations

Hi my palps do backflips and are worse when i lay down. my bloood pressure is low and gets lower when laying down, my pulse is higher and gets higher when i move around almost to the point of passing out. I am hypoglycemic so cant tell if it is from sugar or not. am being tested for fsh levels and thyroid levels. My cardio mentioned to my gp that he wanted to do an abaltion on me. But i have not heard from his office about this. Wore the event monitor for a couple of weeks, then had to quit because i am allergic to the adhesive in the pads. angie

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